Sunday, June 30, 2013

LGBT virtual parade in Moscow

The LGBT communities, and anyone who give a damn about the civil rights, celebrate this week U.S. Supreme Court's decision to restore same-sex marriages to California and granting gay couples the federal benefits of marriage.

The biggest parade is about to start in NYC. But what makes it extra awesome and exciting is the simultaneously held virtual parade in Moscow! After russian government banned LGBT parades, smart people decided to stick it to the bigots and policymakers and held it in a cyberspace!  Every step taken in a parade on the streets of NewYork will be marked on the Moscow's map.

I love technology!

 Website  , twitter,  hashtag #virtualpride

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pirate girls birthday party

Ahoy, me Hearties!  My now six year old girl requested the pirate princess birthday party! I was excited because it was first birthday when she really had strong opinion about it.  I had to do some research because most pirate stuff is designed for boys.  For example I tried to find accessories with Izzy, the female character from the Jake and the Neverland Pirates  and to my disappointment most  stuff were either with Jake or Hook.  After doing some research (thank you Pinterest) I came up with few ideas and I think the party was a success. I decided to pay it forward and share my experience. Perhaps some mom or dad will find it useful.

First there was an invitation:  I designed it in Photoshop Elements and printed in the printshop. I could order the picture prints but I wanted them to look more like old fashioned invitation on the cards. BTW, If you don't have a patience to make something on your own, there are many cute invitations on Etsy

Cupcakes: I wanted to find  cupcake rings with  the pirate faces that are more suitable for cute little girls. I found them on Amazon and they are made by Bakery Crafts. I also bought at Hobby Lobby pack of mustaches on a stick for fun pictures.  We love cupcakes from Target with whipped frosting, and they are very cooperative when it comes to the design.

Activities:  We decorated pirate hats  and felt eye-patches with Jumbo Adhesive Jewels and glitter glue, we also made and decorate spy-glasses (paper towel tubes and black duck tape)

We walked the planks: At first we were planning to put the plank above kiddie pool but we decided against it. Instead I bought cheap blue tablecloth and staked it with the shark fins  (cardboard + wooden kabob skewers)

We also fish with the magnetic fishing rods:

Then we went on a great treasure hunt:  I sent kids to three different locations before they found the chest with the treasure. The first clue lead them to the Sphinx in front of our neighbors' house. There they found golden doubloons to share and the next clue. The clue made them hop like bunnies to the other neighbor back yard for the next clue :-)  The other box had Chinese fortune cookies and the message was informing them that they sailed too far off and now they are in China.  If I do it again I would structure it better so the younger kids had more chances to find the clues.

running to the next clue

Treasure/ party favors :  My girl is in to sparkly things (she requested "a real diamond" for her birthday gift). I wanted to make something girly and sparkly, yet appropriate for the pirates. I ordered via Amazon golden doubloons, Organza Drawstring Gift Bags,  via eBay Acrylic Diamond Confetti, and in Party City  tube of mixed sizes Diamond Scatters . I also purchased pirate girl kids tattoos. For guys we had the same content but in black baggies with the pirate skull and crossbones (Hobby Lobby). All the kids LOVED their booty!

pirates booty / party favors 

Of course we had lots of unstructured, imagination driven fun! Yo Ho Ho! 

birthday girl behind the captain's' wheel

no need for pixie dust here

fishnet and pirate flag to add zing to the playground

Oh and as a bonus, I gave Lucy little pouch full of Pixie dust (golden glitter). Instant hit! All the girls wanted to wear it.  If I had to do it again I would consider making it for all the little pirates.

sprinkling Pixie dust
Finally, thank you notes: Since I managed to take a group picture of all the pirates (it wasn't easy!)  I plan to use it in a thank you cards - I will probably just use one of the templates offered by Walgreens 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer, rainy day arts and crafts for kiddos

It is raining again and Lucy is bored out of her mind. Her two BFFs are busy, and twins are moody. All her coloring books and art activities seem to be not exciting anymore at the moment and a dress-up party works the best with friends:-(  She already watched couple shows on TV and iPad needs to be charged. What to do?

Last time we saved the day with the heart shaped paper punch and block of scrapbooking paper. It gave us two weeks of great mess and entertainment. Well worth it! I am still not sure what's more fun - punching the hearts or making the artwork.

We also played with recycled toiled paper roles. Octopus was the favorite among our young visiting artists.

Lucy was complaining that there is nothing to do so I asked her what she would like to do... That gave ma an idea of the Summer Bucket List!  It worked! She was occupied and I learned few new things about her. Soon her friend came and they are both had fun exchanging the ideas. Please no more rainy days! Well, just one with the grand finale - Lucy wants to see a rainbow :-)

Here it is a printable format if you would like to use with your kiddos (click image to download enlarged version):